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Patriarch Shevchuk: Priests Should Not Be Involved in Politics
31 July 2013, 10:38 | Religion and policy | 2 | | Code for Blog | |
In an interview with UNIAN, Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) spoke about why priests should not be involved in politics, the importance of freedom of the church from the government, and the need to change the stereotypical notion of power.
“We have publicly stated that involvement in politics is not for priests. If a priest feels that he wants to be a deputy, then it means that he does not understand his mission. Furthermore, why does the state now focus so much attention on the church? I think it is an attempt, to a certain extent, to find a state church. For today in Ukraine there is a power crisis, we see it,” said Patriarch Shevchuk.
According to the hierarch, if we compare the level of trust that exists in the government and the level of trust that exists in the church, we see that they differ greatly. Therefore, as stresses Patriarch Shevchuk, the government is seeking a state church purely for self-interest.
“The church should not give in, it must preserve its freedom, otherwise it will become as discredited as the government structures are today,” warns the head of the UGCC.
Patriarch Shevchuk added: “The church must give meaning, new meaning to the service of the government. And only then can the state structures experience a renaissance. Not when they take over a church, no. But when they listen to it. When someone who comes to power will understand that his goal is not to preserve his capital or to have protection for his business. It needs to be that when a person goes into politics, he wants to serve someone, sacrifice something for his neighbor. Today the stereotype and notion of power is absolutely Soviet. It seems power is sought in order to rule with all its consequences, to the point that it becomes a repressive mechanism. And so I think it should be changed, transformed in the light of the example of Prince Volodymyr.”
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